Nicole Fletcher, Fletcher Farm, Southampton, MA
Nicole Fletcher is a fifth generation dairy farmer who, along with her parents, brother, and sister own and operate a 100-acre farm in Southampton, Massachusetts, where they milk 60 Holstein and Jersey cows. Nicole’s parents, Bob and Cheryl, found the farm with the help of the state’s Agricultural Preservation Program after Bob’s family farm had been sold for development in the late 80s.
In addition to dairy farming, the Fletchers operate a successful retail farm stand business. They give regular tours to schoolchildren, teaching them the importance of farming to the local and national economy and culture.
Nicole earned a degree in dairy science from the University of New Hampshire. Upon graduation, she went back to work alongside her family, pursuing not just a job, but a way of life.
We were eager to hear the answers to our Farmer Friday questions, from Nicole – one of the faces of dairy farming’s next generation.
- What is your favorite thing about being a dairy farm family?
My favorite thing about being part of a dairy farm family is that everyday brings new challenges. Some are fun, some are hard. But everyday there is something to do, and each little task helps to make the farm better. And we do these tasks together, which means there is plenty of family bonding time.
- What is your family’s favorite meal? Care to share a recipe?
We are an easy-to-please family. Our favorite meal is cheeseburgers and hot dogs on the grill with sweet corn, and strawberry shortcake sundaes for dessert. It is a summertime staple for us because it is quick, easy, and delicious.
- What is your least favorite farm chore?
My least favorite farm chore is cleaning out my chicken coop. I have around 50 hens that lay eggs that I sell, and I do enjoy taking care of them. But in my opinion, there is no dirtier, grimier job then cleaning chicken manure. I clean it frequently, but I would choose just about anything over doing that!
- What is your favorite time of year on the farm?
My favorite time of year on the farm is the summer. I love to be working outside in the nice weather, and there’s so much to do! In the summer we make hay, the corn is growing, everything is lush and green, and the cows are out in the pasture. There is something simple and comforting about a summer day on the farm. Summer is also the time of year when we take a few of the ‘special’ cows to the local fairs, which is a family pastime for us.
- What is the one thing you would like people who have never experienced farm life to know?
The one thing I would like people who have never experienced life on a farm to know is how much we care for our animals. There is nothing more important to us than raising them right, keeping them healthy, and watching them grow. The cows are like a whole extended part of our family, and we put everything we have into their well-being. We enjoy working with them everyday. Each cow has a unique personality all her own, and because of that, certain ones quickly become beloved favorites.
You can take a Virtual Tour of the Fletcher Farm here.
Or follow them on Facebook here.